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Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos), in a white bowl next to glass of beer on a wooden board

Instant Pot Drunken Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)

Instant Pot Drunken Beans, Frijoles Borrachos, have beer as part of the liquid, but they don't taste like alcohol. A savory blend of beans, bacon, spices, cilantro, and a little beer!

Course Dinner
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword pressure cooker pinto beans recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 398 kcal
Author Sandy Clifton


  • 3/4 lb Bacon (chopped small)
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion (diced)
  • 1/2 Green Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (diced)
  • 1 Pasilla Chile Pepper (chopped) or Hatch Chile, etc
  • 1 Jalapeño Pepper (seeded and diced)
  • 5 Garlic Cloves (pressed or minced)
  • (1) 14 oz can Diced Tomatoes (with juices)
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Mexican Oregano (or 1 tsp regular oregano)
  • 2 tsp Kosher Salt (or 1 tsp table salt)
  • (1) 12 oz Beer (Mexican dark or a Lager) or just more broth if you don't want the beer.
  • 3 1/2 cups Chicken Broth* (low sodium)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Bundle of Cilantro Stems (tied with butcher's string for easy removal)
  • 1 lb Dry Pinto Beans** (rinsed and sorted) or 2 cans of prepared pinto beans

To Finish

  • 1/2 cup Cilantro Leaves (chopped)


  • Reserved Cooked Bacon
  • Sour Cream
  • More Cilantro
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Avocado


  1. Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté mode. When the display reads "Hot" add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just turning crisp. Remove from pot and set aside. Discard all but 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat.

  2. Add the onion to the bacon fat and stir. Cook until it starts to turn translucent, scraping the bottom of the pot.

  3. Add the green pepper, red pepper, pasilla, and jalapeño. Stir well.

  4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

  5. Add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Stir well.

  6. Add the beer, broth, bay leaves, cilantro stems bundle, and the beans. Stir well.

  7. Add 3/4 of the cooked bacon back in, reserving 1/4 of it for garnishing. Stir.

  8. Place the lid on the pot and lock it in place. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.

  9. Turn off the Sauté mode and press the Beans button (or Manual, or Pressure Cook) and then the + or - to choose 45 minutes.

  10. When the cook cycle ends, let the pot naturally release the pressure for 20 minutes (or longer is okay). Then manually release the remaining steam by turning the steam release knob to Venting.

  11. When the pin in the lid drops, open the pot and stir the beans. Discard the bay leaves and the cilantro stems bundle.

  12. Stir in the 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves.

  13. Taste and adjust salt, if necessary.

  14. Garnish as desired and serve. Drunken beans are great over rice or corn bread!

Recipe Notes

*If you do soak your beans overnight, cut the cook time to 22 minutes, and reduce the broth to 2 1/2 cups.
**You can use canned pinto beans. Cut the cook time to 10 minutes, and reduce the broth to 2 cups.
The cilantro stems bundle is an idea I saw on America's Test Kitchen. They have many great cooking and kitchen equipment tips!